Winter time is an excellent time to target grouper in the Florida Gulf waters. The key to locating these fish is to find a “rough-bottom” that is usually made up of limestone ledges or holes in the ocean floor.
Those areas are hot-spots for grouper to hold-in and wait for unsuspecting prey to pass by. The best presentation to make is to either use a small live baitfish like a greenback, blue runner, pilchard, or a chunk of a baitfish and fish it on a sliding-sinker rig just off the bottom. Use a larger hook in the #7/0-9/0 size since grouper have big mouths and at least a 50 lb. Sufix 832 braided line with a 50 lb. Sufix Fluorocarbon leader. Make sure your drag is set tight enough that if you hook a good-size grouper you can put-the-breaks on before it takes you into a hole or under a ledge!